Additional Resources

Worldview Intelligence YouTube Channel

A Way Forward When Worldviews Collide – Jerry Nagel TEDx 1000 Lakes

Jerry Nagel’s PhD Dissertation on Art of Hosting and Worldview


Articles and Books

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter ~ Scientific American 2014: Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working.

What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build a Perfect Team ~ New York Times Feb 2016: Google discovered there are two things that contribute to strong teams: at the end of the day, team members speak an equal amount of time and team members have above average social sensitivity or empathy.

The Six Habits of Highly Empathic PeopleRoman Krznaric writes about empathy, what it is and why it is fundamentally important in today’s world. Empathic habits include cultivating a curiosity about strangers, challenge prejudices and find commonality, try another person’s life, listen hard and open up, inspire mass action and social change, and develop an ambitious imagination.

We Aren’t the World ~ Pacific Standard Feb 2013: Henrich’s work with the ultimatum game was an example of a small but growing countertrend in the social sciences, one in which researchers look straight at the question of how deeply culture shapes human cognition.

In Search of Self ~ The Focus Magazine: Identity is much more mutable than we commonly imagine, shifting to match the various roles we play and the contexts in which we act. We sustain a sense of self not by always being the same, but by always adapting with integrity.

You Are Not Going to Believe What I Am Going To Tell You ~ An Oatmeal comic about how it feels to learn now facts and we react depending on how close or different the new facts are to what we already believe.

Why Liberals Aren’t As Tolerant As They Think ~  The findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. Surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are.

You Are Almost Definitely Not Living in Reality Because Your Brain Doesn’t Want You To ~ Quartz, September 2016 ~ Every cognitive bias exists for a reason – either to save our brains time or energy. This article looks at four problems our brains are trying to solve by filtering information and how this happens depending on the solution.

Motivated Ignorance is Ruining Our Political Discourse ~ Avoiding facts inconvenient to our worldview isn’t just some passive, unconscious habit we engage in. We do it because we find these facts to be genuinely unpleasant. And as long as this experience remains unpleasant, and easy to avoid, we’re just going to drift further and further apart.

The psychology of why 94 deaths from terrorism are scarier than 301,797 deaths from guns ~ Quartz, Jan 31, 2017 ~ One reason people’s fears don’t line up with actual risks is that our brains are wired by evolution to make fast judgements which are not always backed up by logical reasoning. “Our emotions push us to make snap judgments that once were sensible—but may not be anymore,” Maia Szalavitz, a child psychiatrist, wrote in 2008 in Psychology Today.

Also, fear strengthens memory, she wrote, so that one-off catastrophes like plane crashes or terrorist attacks embed in our memories, while we blank the horrible accidents we see daily on the highway. “As a result, we overestimate the odds of dreadful but infrequent events and underestimate how risky ordinary events are,” Szalavitz explained.

Risk perception (pdf) used to be based on an analytical equation: you multiply the probability of an event by the potential damage of its outcome. But Paul Slovic, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, understood the powerful role of emotions in decision-making and altered that equation, noting that many things affect how we perceive risk

Why Facts Don’t Change People’s Minds,  published in the New Yorker, in February 2017, suggests that as a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding.”  And here our dependence on other minds reinforces the problem. If your position on, say, the Affordable Care Act is baseless and I rely on it, then my opinion is also baseless. When I talk to Tom and he decides he agrees with me, his opinion is also baseless, but now that the three of us concur we feel that much more smug about our views.

Participants in a study were asked to rate their positions depending on how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the proposals. Next, they were instructed to explain, in as much detail as they could, the impacts of implementing each one. Most people at this point ran into trouble. Asked once again to rate their views, they ratcheted down the intensity, so that they either agreed or disagreed less vehemently.

Sloman and Fernbach see in this result a little candle for a dark world. If we spent less time pontificating and more trying to work through the implications of policy proposals, we’d realize how clueless we are and moderate our views. This, they write, “may be the only form of thinking that will shatter the illusion of explanatory depth and change people’s attitudes.”


Other Videos

Julia Galef: Why you think you’re right — even if you’re wrong – a 10 minute talk on motivated reasoning – the soldier mind or scout mind – Which are you?

In this video, Perfectly Broken and Ready to Heal, Robin Youngson speaks about the role of compassion in health care, how difficult it is to persuade another person to change their worldview if you are operating from a place of judgment, any sense of being an expert and when you focus on the problems. His work and view is very resonant with our worldview work which is why I also turned his talk into a blog post. And watch the video. It is very informative.

The Lab: Decoy is a three minute video that shows how the person behind the lens and the story they perceive has influence over how the photographs of the same man are taken and the story they  reveal.

What happens when we stop putting people in boxes? Discovering more of who someone is helps make connections we might not have thought possible as is demonstrated in this video done in Denmark.